Welcome to Neighborhood Lit.!

October 04, 2019 3 min read

Little ones love learning at home and parents love providing activities that are fun and don’t cost a lot of money.  Here are five suggestions of activities that you can do with your child using items that you probably already have around the house.  And since Fall is here, we’ve also included activities that you can do outside in the crisp autumn air.  


Make a Letter Clothesline (indoor or outdoor)
(letter recognition/sounds and/or beginning sounds)

Materials:  Yarn or string



                  Junk mail or old magazines

  1. Hang the yarn or string between two trees or between two chairs indoors.
  2. Pick a letter from the alphabet like “B”.  Hunt through junk mail or magazines to find that letter (uppercase or lowercase).  You could also look for pictures that begin with that sound.
  3. Cut out the letters and pictures.
  4. Use the clothespins to hang them up on the clothesline.  

Go Fishing (indoor or outdoor)
(letter recognition/sounds and/or beginning sounds)

Materials:  Long stick 

                  Yarn or string



                  Small magnet

                  Magnetic letters or 26 small pieces of paper squares

  1. Make your fishing pole.  Tie a piece of string onto one end of the stick.  Tie the magnet to the other end of the string.
  2. Spread the alphabet letters on the floor in front of the chair. (If you do not have magnetic letters, you can make your own. Write each letter of the alphabet on a paper square and fasten a paperclip to it). 
  3. Sit on the stool and go fish by touching the magnet on the end of the fishing pole with the magnetic part of the letter or the paperclip on the paper square. Once you catch the letter, say the name of the letter and the sound it makes.
Fall Scavenger Hunt (outdoor)
(labeling and letter/word recognition)  

Materials:  Construction paper


                   Clipboards (optional)


  1. Create a checklist of items to find in nature.  For little learners, draw a simple picture of each item. 
  2. Go outside and hunt for the items on your list!  (It’s ok to help read the name of the item out loud to your child, but as you do, point to each word and let them help you read by pointing out the object you drew).  Don’t forget to check each item off as you find it.
  3. Some examples that you might want to include on your list are acorns, red leaf, yellow leaf, brown leaf, a feather, a twig, a smooth rock, a piece of grass, etc.

Make Alphabet Rocks (outdoor)
(reading and writing letters, spelling)

Materials:  26 smooth stones

                   Acrylic Paint


  1. Go on a nature hike and begin collecting smooth rocks that are big enough to write letters on.  You may have to do this several times in order to collect 26 rocks, but it gives you a good excuse to get outside!
  2. Once you have collected all the rocks, paint an uppercase letter on each one.  If you’d like, you can let it dry and then paint the matching lowercase letter on the other side.
  3. Practice naming and saying the names of each letter.  You can also use the rocks to spell out simple words like sight words or short vowel words.  

Leaf Pile Letters (outdoor)
(letter recognition and sounds) 

Materials:  Leaf Pile

                  Small pieces of colored construction paper with letters written on it 

  1. Write each letter of the alphabet (uppercase and lowercase)  on a small piece of colored construction paper. (If you want to make it more challenging, choose paper that is similar to the leaf colors like red, brown, yellow or orange). You can get your child involved in this process by having them recite the alphabet as you write.
  2. Make a leaf pile.
  3. Close your eyes while your helper mixes some of the paper letters into the leaf pile,
  4. Search for the letters. When a letter is found, say the name of it and its sound.
  5. You can make this more challenging by setting a timer. 
  6. Don’t forget to jump in the leaf pile when you are finished!

Fall is here! These activities will help your child have fun and spend time outside while they practice their letters.  And you won’t have to go far or spend lots of money to make it happen! 

(Image by Rudy & Peter Skitterians from Pixabay)